Vote, folks -- you have nearly an hour yet in Texas!!
I understand Wisconsin and Hawaii are voting today. Early voting -- which used to be known as Absentee Voting in Texas -- opens today and lasts 10 days, shutting down 2/29/08.
Texas has a twist: if you want to participate in caucuses you must first vote, and have your vote recorded according to the party in whose primary you cast that vote. You can get that vote recorded during early voting or at the polls on March 4, 2008, but without that stamp, no caucus entry for you.
From what I've been lead to believe, this goes back to Ancient Times, when Texas was a purely Caucus state. Sometime during the 1970s, though, the Progressive Democrats sought to create inroads for their candidates and ideas into the Democratic Party's power [and as scarce as Dems in Texas have been since 1990, Republicans in the state did not officially exist from about 1870 -- the end of Reconstruction and the throwing out of the carpetbag invader government foisted on Texas by the Republican Congress victorious in the War Between the States -- there was not a civil thing about that damned conflict, and renaming it on behalf of the winners is far too PC for my taste -- up until about 100 to 110 years later, when such political conservative state stars as John Connally (yes, he was a Democrat when he was our Governor; but that got him shot in the same car as Jack Kennedy, and he changed parties in 1973) and that Aggie economics professor, Phil Gramm, who once reveled in the nickname 'meanest man in Congress,' started the trend that culminated in George H.W. Bush and his son being elected President, and blaming Texas for all their follies]. One thing led to another and sometime after 1976 the progressive Democrats succeeded in getting a Texas primary election placed on the ballot.
As is often the case with Texas politics -- Harvey Kronberg's "There is not a sport invented that matches Texas politics for contact, blood or gratuitous violence." quote is something of an understatement -- the perceived solution to the problem not only left a lot to be desired, it made things immeasurably worse.
So here we are, today. And I'm off to the grocery to vote, five minutes away.